The ink on the divorce has been dry for some time now, and you’re finally in a position mentally to reenter the world of dating. It’s been a while since your last date, and meeting new women can feel awkward at first. Here are the top 5 essential tips for you to take into consideration if you hope to increase your chances of meeting someone you enjoy spending time with, while minimizing your chance of disappointment:

Tip 1: Avoid looking for a date in a nightclub.

We’re all aware that clubs are swarming with eligible women, but those nightclubs are also teeming with eager men that are all aware of the eligibility of those women (that’s why they are there). There’s a slight chance you may have had a stress-free DIY divorce, or perhaps you were lucky enough to mediate or settle your divorce through the collaborative process, but 95% of divorces go through the arduous process of litigation in a drawn-out legal battle pitting you and your lawyers against her and her lawyers. This probably sounds familiar. Are you sure you’re ready to head into the nightclub scene where you’ll be faced with competing against the most fearsome opponents yet – young libidinous males?

Tip 2: Try dating websites.

Believe it or not, according to a recent Pew Research web poll, 1 in 10 adults have admitted to using an internet dating service, with 66% of them actually going on first dates. One quarter of online daters even say they’ve married after meeting their partner at an online dating site. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here. These figures are optimistic, but we’re just talking about dating for now. Try multiple sites to find the ones that work for you, remember to be consistent between profiles, and keep your photo as current as possible. Be honest, women like that.

Tip 3: Don’t bring up your divorce on a date.

One moment you’re sitting there spreading butter on a warm baguette, and the next thing you know you’re bringing up your divorce. If you found your date online, chances are she already knows you are divorced. This is assuming you were honest when creating the profile (refer to Tip 2). So the last thing you want to do on a date, especially if you’re meeting someone for the first time, is spark up a conversation about the demise of your marriage. We all know that divorce proceedings can be a very invasive and often life draining experience. A lot of things come up that are personal in nature, and perhaps they are best kept that way when dating new people, unless they ask you. If that’s the case…

Tip 4: You don’t owe your date an explanation for your divorce.

Divorce is common enough that you can expect to be asked about it by your date. But oftentimes when details come up it is easy for the conversation to result in some form of accusation being made against your ex. This can quickly spiral into a blame fest, leaving your date regretting any attraction she may have had toward you, and you kind of looking like a jerk. Avoid mentioning any details that would make you queasy if it were coming from your date’s mouth, and avoid mentioning anything that could make your date question the probability of ending up in a similarly doomed relationship with you.

Tip 5: Be aware of your expectations.

You should know what kind of person you are looking for when dating. This includes questioning your date’s age, being mindful of their career or income if that is an important factor for you, and understand their likes or dislikes. As a general rule steer clear of anyone who reminds you dramatically of your ex. One or two similarities is normal, but if you find yourself strolling in cruise control down memory lane with every word coming from your date’s mouth reminding you of your ex, you may begin to find similar characteristics of those that were partially to blame for the cause of the divorce. You were probably with your ex for a long time, years even. Clearly it did not work out for you, so why would you think that dating someone exactly like her would be any different? Some schools of thought would suggest leaving your options wide open and not conforming to one idea of the perfect date, and I concur. What better way is there to adhere to that mantra than by dating someone different than your ex?

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